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The Essential Digital Marketing Terms Explained

Digital marketing is used as an umbrella term for all online advertisements. This can cover things like ads on Google, sponsored social media posts, and SEO optimisation. Bamboo Nine offers both SEO and PPC campaigns, alongside our expert digital PR and paid social teams. In this glossary, we’ll give an overview of the key digital marketing terms you’ll need to know in the worlds of SEO and PPC, giving you an idea of what our work involves.

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SEO Terms

SEO campaigns will cover a wide breadth of changes and additions to a website. In this glossary we’ll cover the basic terms used within the SEO industry, helping you to understand the digital marketing terms and definitions that professionals use every day.

SEO

Search engine optimisation, commonly referred to as SEO, involves making changes to a website to improve its Google rankings on relevant search terms. This can involve posting compelling content on the website, making technical improvements, and gaining a reputation through other quality websites. If you’re looking to increase your business’s brand awareness, drive relevant traffic and boost your website’s organic ranking, you need SEO.

SEO Copywriting

Copywriting, the art of writing content for marketing, is used throughout SEO campaigns. Websites will be looking to target relevant google searches, known as keyword searches, bringing traffic to their website. SEO copywriting can therefore be used to create quality sales pages, or to write compelling content that will target readership and sharing.

Technical SEO

Alongside copywriting, various technical elements of a website will affect its Google rankings. Technical SEO will focus on making the website easier to assess by Google, quicker to load, and ensuring that it offers a good experience for users. Having a poorly performing website will make it more difficult to rank on Google, and also make users more likely to leave.

Algorithm

Within SEO, Google’s algorithm is the process it uses to decide the results for a specific search. The Google algorithm is continually changing, requiring changes in your digital marketing strategies if you are looking to consistently rank pages from a website. Google look at many features when deciding results, such as the quality of content, whether the website is optimised for mobiles and how recent the content is. They also customise searches for users, based on search history and location.

Analytics

Analytics tools are used within SEO to track things like search ranking, the total number of people clicking through from searches (click-through rate), and what they do on your website. This will allow you to create goals, such as lead generation, sales or file downloads. Google Analytics is a popular tool used to track users’ activity, letting businesses understand their traffic and adjust their SEO campaigns accordingly.

Authority

The authority of a website is an overall measure of the quality of your website, giving a prediction of how likely it is to rank. This is based on several factors including the number of quality backlinks to your website, the recognition of your brand, and the amount of time visitors spend on your site. Authority is especially important to Google in “Your Money or Your Life” pages (YMYL), this means pages that are used for transactions, the collection of information, or for fields involving matters of health or major life decisions.

Backlink

A backlink is a digital marketing term for a link to your website from a different website. This could be a link to a product page from a blog, or a link to an engaging article from a social media page. Google places a high value on quality backlinks, boosting the rankings for websites seen to be generating traffic from other sites. 

Paying for low-quality backlinks, a disreputable SEO strategy, can earn you a penalisation from Google. If you have poor backlinks, you can disavow them to Google, avoiding penalties. The practice of building high-quality backlinks is called link building, which will be involved in any comprehensive SEO strategy.

Call to Action (CTA)

A call to action, or CTA, is a specific phrase designed to encourage an action from a reader. This action can be to click on a specific web page or to make a purchase. Calls to action should be short and compelling, such as “Explore Our Range” or “Buy Our Product Today”. They are used throughout a marketing strategy to drive customer engagement.

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

Shortened to CTR, the click-through rate of a page is a digital marketing term for the percentage of impressions on Google that resulted in a visit to the site. This can be improved by writing more compelling titles and meta descriptions, and by having a readable URL (the website address). Having a high CTR is obviously important to drive visitors to your site.

Crawling

Search engines like Google use a program called a crawler to map websites, creating an index of each page that can then be used for google searches. Having your website pages crawled and indexed is vital in SEO, allowing you to rank. You can assist the crawling process by having a well-structured site with quality, varied content. A robots.txt file can be installed on a web page to manage which pages of your site are crawled. Along with a sitemap, this can help to ensure that the pages you want to be searched for are indexed successfully on Google.

Digital PR

Digital PR seeks to increase awareness of a website or brand via online and offline methods, driving attention to unique content made with a similar eye to optimisation you might see in SEO copywriting. Digital PR looks to gain authoritative, influential coverage of a website or brand, increasing awareness and generating quality backlinks.

Headings

Headings are used within a webpage to give it structure, and increase accessibility. An article that uses a heading based structure will be more pleasing to readers as well as Google. Not looking like a huge block of text will also allow them to scroll through to relevant sections. Headings are split into H1s, H2s. and H3s etc, each showing a deeper level within the article. For example, the main heading on this page “The Essential Digital Marketing Terms Explained” is an H1, “SEO Terms” is an H2, and every definition is an H3.

Index/No Index

An index is the database used by a search engine to store information on a website. Websites like Google will use crawlers to analyse websites, indexing the pages, which means they can then be found within search results. Pages can be marked as “No Index” through the robots.txt file, meaning they won’t be included in search results.

Keywords

Keywords are at the heart of SEO copywriting, with a suite of digital marketing terms connected to them. Companies will be looking to rank on Google for terms that are relevant to their company (an example would be that a company Levi’s would want to rank for keyword terms  “Jeans”, “Men’s Jeans”, “Women’s Jeans”, “Jeans For Kids” etc). You can target these searches by including the relevant keyword within the copy on the website, be that in sales pages or articles. A long-tail keyword is one that is longer, often a phrase, such as “How to Wash Jeans” or “What Are Jeans Made of?”, targeting these keywords can bring engaged traffic to a website. Keyword density is the number of times a keyword is used within a page. Overusing a keyword, known as keyword stuffing, will harm your position within the Google rankings.

Landing Page

A landing page is a digital marketing term for a specially designed page on a website that will be arrived at from specific keyword searches. A landing page will always have a specific purpose, such as making a sale or getting a download of a document. Landing pages will often include CTAs for this purpose. Having focused landing pages can help to increase sales by engaging readers with their specific keywords, and selling the benefits of your products or services.

Metadata

Metadata is information about a website stored in the HTML that isn’t a part of the webpage as displayed. In SEO, metadata is used to create meta titles and meta descriptions. These are the text that will be displayed on the google results page. Meta titles and descriptions should be written to indicate what the page is about. 

The meta title is the larger blue text bar that a user can click on, and the meta description is the text below that. Writing compelling metadata is a key part of SEO copywriting, helping to increase the click-through rate by utilising features like CTAs. If you don’t include metadata within the HTML, Google will autogenerate a meta title and description based on your page. 

In many cases, this will be less compelling and will not fully fit within the pixel limits (600px for the title, 960px for the description) leaving you with ellipses rather than a full title.

No-Follow Link

A no-follow link is a link within a website that is marked within the HTML as “nofollow”. This means that the link won’t be crawled by sites like Google, and won’t contribute to link building. This tool was originally used to stop the spamming of comments within blogs with backlinks to other sites, but is today used by other authoritative websites like Wikipedia and Reddit to dissuade users from trying to get backlinks. Paid links should all be marked as “nofollow” according to Google’s rules, with penalties for those who don’t.

Penalty

Websites that violate Google’s terms, either through spam, paid backlinks or other black hat (against the rules) tactics can earn penalties from Google. In the initial sense, this will mean that your rankings for targeted keywords will fall, sometimes dramatically. For manually given penalties you will need to make changes and appeal to Google to improve your rankings again. In extreme cases Google may blacklist your site, meaning that none of your pages will be indexed.

Ranking (page rank or page authority)

The ranking of a page is its place within the Google results for a particular keyword. The goal of an SEO marketing campaign will normally be to increase page rankings for relevant keywords, targeting the traffic this will bring to the site. Page authority is a term used to measure how a page will rank on Google. It will cover all elements of SEO, original content, keyword usage, link building, and technical performance. The term domain authenticity is used to analyse the quality of an entire website, rather than just one page.

SERP (organic search results)

The Search Engine Results Page, or SERP, is a digital marketing term for the pages found when searching terms in a search engine. The goal of SEO is to get a good place on the SERP for a webpage. It’s worth remembering the degree to which Google will personalise results, so the get a generalised SERP you should look on a browser whilst using privacy mode.

Sitemap

A sitemap is a file, much like the robots.txt file, that exists to give useful information about the pages on your website. It will provide all the information needed to crawl your website, showing the links between pages, and all videos and files located on the website. While not strictly needed, having a sitemap will help your pages to get indexed, allowing them to rank on Google.

Usability

Usability is a metric to examine how your site performs for users, aiming to increase goal completion. When a user arrives on a website through Google, Google will monitor their behaviour, and if they immediately leave the page this will harm your rankings. HIgh usability means a site that is quick, attractive, and well laid out, minimising the number of clicks needed to create a sale or lead. This will both benefit your rankings and your sales.

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PPC Terms

PPC is a different form of online advertising, with a variety of digital marketing terms to know. In this glossary of common terms and definitions, we’ll explain the sort of terms that a PPC professional would use.

PPC

Pay per click advertising, referred to as PPC, is an advertising system used by services like Google. What it means is that you will pay when a user clicks your link, rather than paying to be seen. The ads shown at the top of a Google search are determined based on a few factors, decided in an auction-like bidding system. A PPC agency will work to get quality pages available for PPC advertising, tailoring text and landing pages to increase the chances of a sale. 

If you’re looking to get your business instantly visible on Google, PPC is the fastest and best way to achieve this. 

Audience

Google allows you to tailor the audience for your PPC campaign, targeting based on demographic data like age, gender, and location, or around specific interests. Aiming for a specific target audience can allow you to get a higher conversion rate from those who click the links, as the content they arrive at will be tailored for them.

Bidding

When looking to advertise on a specific keyword, a company will “bid” on their maximum budget for that page. This bid, in combination with the quality score of the page, will be used in the real-time bidding (RTB) process to determine who will be at the top of the rankings. The price you pay will be dependent on competitors and ad rank, not just the highest bid you have placed. The amount you will need to bid for keywords will vary dramatically, with some competitive industries reaching very high prices per click.

Bounce Rate

A bounce rate is a digital marketing term for the percentage of people who leave the first page of a website they arrive at without interacting. In PPC you will want to ensure the bounce rate is as low as possible, as each bounce is essentially wasted money.

Campaign

A PPC campaign is a campaign across a website or brand, with a series of keywords they’ll be targeting through Google adverts. This campaign will be budgeted, analysing the performance of keywords, bids, and things like the bounce rate of pages. Professional PPC campaign managers will work to ensure that money is being spent on bringing relevant traffic to high conversion pages, maximising returns.

Conversion Rate

The conversion rate is the rate of customers fulfilling the purpose of the page from a PPC click-through. This could mean making a purchase or signing up for a quote. A higher conversion rate is obviously desired to make the PPC ad worthwhile.

Cost Per Lead

The cost per lead, or CPL, is the amount you are paying in PPC advertising to generate a lead. Depending on the potential returns generated by a lead it can be worth having a higher CPL.

Cost Per View

An alternative to PPC, cost per view (CPV) ads are video ads, where you bid per view. Depending on your business needs, PPC and CPV can be used within the same digital marketing campaign.

Display Advertising

Display advertising is images or solid adverts shown on websites. These can be a vital part of a digital marketing campaign for brands, tailored based on users’ prior searches or the relevancy of the website they’re visiting. Display advertising can be sold on a cost per thousand basis, where you’ll pay per thousand impressions.

KPI

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are the goals around which you will measure the performance of your PPC campaign. This could be sales, signups, or engagement. You can track several KPIs for a campaign, such as sales, email marketing signups, and how long a viewer spends on a page.

Paid Social

Paid social is when you pay to advertise on social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. This can be done to generate leads, or to raise brand awareness with a unique voice. Like PPC, you can target specific audiences with your posts, aiming for a certain age group, or those who follow certain interests.

PLA

A product listing ad is a paid image ad on Google search. This will be for a specific product, and unlike PPC will not be targeting a keyword search, instead Google will decide the relevance of your ad based on the product name and display it in relevant searches.

Quality Score

Your quality score will be determined by Google Ads, and will impact your ability to win ad auctions, and how much you will be charged. The score will depend on several factors, such as the CTR of the ad, the quality and relevance of your landing page, the relevance of your ad text, and the historical performance of ads on your account.

Remarketing

Remarketing is a digital marketing term for the process where cookies from a PPC campaign allow you to show further ads to a viewer who visited your website through a PPC link but didn’t complete a KPI. You can tailor this, both in terms of which visitors you choose to remarket to, and what to show to them. This allows you to reengage potential customers who have already shown interest.

Expert Digital Marketing from Bamboo Nine

Bamboo Nine is a digital marketing agency based in Brighton, offering both SEO and PPC campaigns to a huge range of companies. We are transparent, hard working, and collaborative, with 30 day rolling contracts for all clients. We also have in house digital PR, social media, and design teams, allowing us to cover all digital marketing needs.

Get in contact with us today to discover how we can help your business to thrive online.